What are the aesthetic differences between the two strands of modernism
covered in the poetry unit? What kinds of historical and social events influenced art between the world wars, and how did these events shape poetry?
Modernism: A literary movement that reached its peak in the 1920s, modernism developed in two rather different strands. American modernism, as practiced by Williams and Hughes, is characterized by an interest in portraying ordinary subject matter in concrete, vernacular language. Modernist poetry written in Europe, as characterized by Eliot, tends to be highly allusive. The poems are nonlinear and often refer to the modern condition, particularly the city, in a deeply critical manner. This strand of modernism tends to use a disembodied voice and a collage-like method.
Additional Poems Allowed to Include:
T.S. Eliot – “The Waste Land”
Robert Frost – “The Road Not Taken” and “Fire and Ice”
Claude McKay – “Harlem Shadows” and “America”
Langston Hughes – “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and “Theme for English B” and “I, Too”
William Carlos Williams – “To a Poor Old Woman,” “Red Wheelbarrow,” “This Is Just to Say”